Saturday, 4 October, 2014
Counting Words in Blog Posts
Thursday, 2 October, 2014

Starting The Coursera Programming Languages Course

A quick confession about learning how to learn

I signed up for the Programming Languages course by Coursera. I may even complete it. See, I signed up for a Scala course earlier this year, but did not get past the first video. That made me sad. Scala is one of those things that I would like to learn.

Many topics appeal to me. This causes problems. I will never stop finding things that I want to learn: languages, idioms, platforms, databases, security, and so on. The list becomes almost frightening when you add non-computery things that I want to get better at: drawing, knitting, cooking, writing, etcetera.

I keep trying to learn new things. I know that I will never have enough time to learn most of it, but I keep trying.

Preparation makes more things possible. You are supposed to set time aside that is just for focused learning. The early morning and early evening work best for me, since there are fewer distractions.

Some of my preparation involves watching videos with the express purpose of learning. Avdi Grimm’s Ruby Tapas episodes help with that goal. They are short. They are educational. They are fun.

The Coursera videos have a greater length than Ruby Tapas, of course. At least my brain is warmed up for the task of focused learning. A few stretching exercises have been done.

I’m nervous. My habits are getting better, but my ratio of Things Started to Things Finished embarrasses me. I will not make “Finish This Course” a requirement. Too nervous. But I will have a certain amount of pride if I can make it through, do the assignments, and maybe even - gasp - turn them in.

Here’s hoping.